Opting Into Respect
Opting Into Respect
Opting Into Respect

I recently tuned out for a family vacation. My adventures away from the emails, Tweets, posts, check-ins and electronic banter that makes up our typical social media world proved quite productive for both me and, I think, for you. The experience left me with a reminder on just how easy it is to lose people by not treating their time and attention with the respect they deserve.

In true, “I just got off vacation where I unplugged,” style, I recorded you a little video with the thoughts I have to share today.

How will you respect your audience this week? Tell us in the comments.

About the Author

Ike Pigott
In his previous life, Ike Pigott was an Emmy-winning TV reporter, who turned his insider's knowledge of the news cycle into a crisis communications consultancy. At the American Red Cross, serving as Communication and Government Relations Director for five southeastern states, Ike pioneered the use of social media in disaster. Now -- by day -- he is a communications strategist for Alabama Power and a Social Media Apologist; by night, he lurks at Occam's RazR, where he writes about the overlaps and absurdities in communications, technology, journalism and society. Find out how you can connect with Ike or follow him on Twitter at @ikepigott. He also recently won the coveted "Social Media Explorer contributing writer with the longest Bio" award.
  • Amazing write-up! This could aid plenty of people find out more about this particular issue. Are you keen to integrate video clips coupled with these? It would absolutely help out. Your conclusion was spot on and thanks to you; I probably won’t have to describe everything to my pals. I can simply direct them here!

  • Waynej31
  • Nice post! Thanks.

  • Ike, last May 2010 I went to New Mexico and had pretty close to the same realization. I didnt miss not knowing what every person in my social, personal or business circles were doing. Its strange how important it seems, at least for me, to be connected and able to respond in real time. I love new technology and its almost ubiquitous integration into our lives but I also envy the days when it wasn’t such a part of both my work and pleasure. 

    • Bingo — technology should empower you to be more efficient when you are working, so you can think about it less when you aren’t.

      All the marketing scrabble that we allow into our use of tech just makes it more muddy, and less useful.

  •  Hope you had a great break. I have been waiting to take a break from my work to spend some time with my family. And yes I too liked “They are not going to miss you”. Thanks for this great video.

    • You’re welcome — hope you get to unplug soon enough.

  • Great reminder, Ike. +1 on Ilana’s comment. Video was a great format for this. I thought about doing a video as my reply/comment, but then remembered that (a) I work from home, and (b) Our hot water tank is shot (cold showers = no shower today!).

    I’m about to head off to another state for an undisclosed period of time with my wife, daughter and in-laws. Originally, the plan was to completely disconnect – no MacBook, no iPad, turn off email on the iPhone, then I thought more about it. I love being connected. LOVE. My “new” plan is to do nothing work-related, but to catch up on some person things that have slipped. The thing is, some of those personal items involve technology. Is that bad? Also, I’ll be with my in-laws and could see myself needing a break. Ha!

    By they way, I think the key to your post is this phrase: “They are not going to miss you.” Exactly. 

    Link drop in 3, 2, 1: http://socialbutterflyguy.com/2011/01/22/3-lessons-learned-from-6-days-off-the-grid/ <–I wrote about my 3 lessons learned back in January after 6 days totally off the grid. Similar conclusions to you.

    • Thanks DJ.

      We went through Arizona and New Mexico (and glad we did before the fires got really bad.) I had to convince my wife that we needed the iPad along the way. It was fantastic for allowing us to make last-minute adjustments, look up landmarks, research times for shops and museums. It was a Godsend.

      However, here is what I *did* do:

      1) Removed my company email account from the iPad (it’s a personal device, and I can do that.)

      2) Set all of the emails on my phone to “Manual” checking (no push-email.)

      3) Turned off the ringer on my phone.  I could see when I had missed calls, but only when *I* wanted to check.

      4) Didn’t talk about vacation until I got back.

      Enjoy your time!

      • You were close to my neck of the woods (we live in Salt Lake City). The only problem with #1 for me is that I pull all work email into my gmail account via pop3. I can remove it, but folks still email me about work stuff on my personal account. A bit muddy for sure. Either way, I’m just going to ignore work email. For #4, did you mean “work” instead of “vacation” or do you make it a rule to not talk about vacation while on vacation? Ha ha.

        • I made it a rule to not post publicly that I was on a vacation. So I didn’t talk about Vacation while on vacation.

          I did share a few links while I was away — and my wife was okay with that, because having enough regular activity to appear normal masked my absence.

  •  Wait … wait … you mean our brand isn’t top of mind for all of our customers 24/7/365? They’re not going to miss us?

    But seriously, this is well said, Ike. The lesson is clear: be relevant, be respectful, and be aware that you’re not the #1 priority in people’s lives.

    • Yes, it’s true that once you get a Like or a subscription, you often have to work to get them to UnSub or UnLike.  But that doesn’t mean they are tuning in.

      Respect is that name of the game.


  • Ike, How fitting that you did this post “in person.”

    • Thanks — I am trying to do a better job of identifying the best medium for the message.


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